Never Surrender

The events of this last week have left me spinning. I have been partially paralyzed by the happenings in my microcosm, but the macrocosm requires attention.

Over the summer I fed my daughters a steady diet of information about the Holocaust. Somewhere in my subconscious I knew that I needed to prepare them.  They need to know how sick our world is.  They need to know that one by one, drop by drop we can heal it.  They each of us can make a small contribution.  That we can stand up for what we believe.  That each of us makes a difference.  That it is imperative that we act boldly.  That we MUST raise our voices.  That only knowledge can banish ignorance.

The work that I create is fueled by social justice and awareness.

Arc of Joan deals with resistance and identity issues as well as mental health. I mean seriously, how many people who truly listen to their inner voices (whether originating divinely, naturally or, dare I say, both?) are considered insane or unstable? Those who don’t follow the flock, those who forge their own paths are often initially disregarded and vilified. Those who boldly go into the unknown know what is on the other side of fear… everything.

Both Weaving the River and Redlined are informed by government issued and PERPETUATED racism.  Racism that affects neighborhoods.  Racism that affects health.  Racism that affects the very fabric of our society.

We must use the tools that we have to make the change that we want to see in this world.We must stand up.  We must be heard.

Silence = Death

(originally written 8.18.17)

It’s not the destination…

We all have choices in life.

We can fight for what we know to be inherently true or we can easily slide into a stupor of acceptance.  Sometimes we are driven to accept what others believe to be the best for us.  But nobody knows your truth like YOU know your truth.

For years I emotionally, physically and mentally wasted away.  I drank the kool-aid.  I did what others thought I should do.  Partially from fatigue.  Partially because I was spoon fed that it was the right thing to do.   But deep down inside I knew that I was living a lie.  I knew that the lifestyle that I had chosen wasn’t really who I was.  I tried to squeeze into the false idol of the American dream.  I nestled in the false safety net of “things”.  I swallowed another corporate coffee so I could continue to drown out the weakening lilt of my inner voice.

My inner creator manifested in small ways like crafty gifts for teachers or an occasionally knit scarf.

That may have been enough.  That may have sufficed.  But the creative furnace in the core of this sentient carbon based life form burns with an energy that can not be quelled by rote creative activities.  This energy pushes out from it’s source and myriad manifestations.

Sit back and watch out for what comes next…

(originally written 8.1.17)

Out of the frying pan…

http://www.pictureskk.com/xJoan.html

Someone, who I love, told me that I have taken on too much. That my fuse is too short because I am stretched too thin.

Here’s where I am.

Last weekend, I opened “Arc of Joan” at KC Fringe 2017. It has not gone exactly as planned, but what really does… Adaptability has become one of my strong suits, in my view. I am rolling with whatever creeps up and handling all of the hiccups with as much grace as I can muster.

In some ways, I feel like there are forces out there willing my failure. I resist and persist against these forces by merely “being” and continually moving forward.

True failure is in NOT trying, in NOT putting oneself out there, in NOT raising your voice louder when someone tries to silence you.

The simple act of exposing your creativity to the world is an act of bravery. The criticism, whether it be negative or positive, is a side effect.

And at the root of it all, I am human. I deeply feel the negative and the positive responses. It seems like the “bad stuff” is louder and resonates more deeply than the good. I will not the allow myself to drown in the sea of negativity. But I hold on to each positive utterance like a life raft, I breathe them in like oxygen.

I will continue to boldly move forward and silence the external noise. I know my truth.

I know that I’m not meant to be everyone’s “cup of tea”… especially ’cause I am a straight shot of whiskey.

I honor those before me who did not try, who did not put themselves out there, who allowed themselves to be silenced, simply by not doing the same.

The half lived lives of those who walked before me, inspire me to live my life to the fullest. I want this not just for me, but for the benefit of my children. They should know that their potential is boundless.

Now. Breathe, repeat. Keep moving forward.

All my love,
Jen

Fever Pitch

Slowly, it approaches.  The intensity builds and builds until you find yourself here… in it.

And when you arrive “in it”, “it” never is quite what you expected it to be.

Adapt or die has been my battle cry.  A rug gets pulled out from beneath your feet?  Figure out how to land… somewhere else.

There have been more than a handful of occasions lately where a former version of myself would have shrunk back, gone into my cave to lick my wounds and reappear sometime in the undetermined future a little less shiny, a little weaker than before.

Shrinking back is no longer an option.  This is a time to expand.  This is a time to push the limits, get in a little too deep.  This is a time to ADAPT.

These emotional battle scars all serve a purpose.  They embolden me by their presence.  They  remind me that I endured, I survived.  I am able to grow and flourish from the marks left behind.  They remind me that the past is a root to grow from.  That the present fertilizes these roots.  That the future is completely connected to the equation that I derive from these two elements.  And what do I choose to do? Flounder or flourish.  There really is only one option.

I am so completely blessed to be OVERWHELMED by all of the amazing projects that are coming down the pike.  First off is Arc of Joan at KC Fringe… it is getting so close.  I’m in one of those maddening spaces where decision upon decision relies solely on me and I’m questioning myself.  But I’m also in the space where I’m starting to let go and allow this performance to manifest in whatever way it does based on the beautiful and talented people who have given of themselves so graciously and gracefully.  I honestly wouldn’t have made it this far without Athena Horton, Dexter Melton and my sister on the stage,  Kaelyn Alese Whitt.   These amazing humans have been the voices of strength, clarity and ingenuity.  I am eternally grateful for their generous spirits and loving contributions.

The strength of this little community makes me braver, makes me bolder.

Stay tuned  for more information/transformation.

Embrace the chaos.  This is one helluva ride.

 

 

Much Ado… About EVERYTHING

Non-stop round these parts. Non-stop.  Just when it seems that there is a moment to take a, well, moment, something else pops up.

 

For example, last week on a rare, un-booked afternoon, I took the little women to the lake for a swim.  And lo and behold a phone call from KCUR, one of KC’s local public radio stations called me to do a pre-screening for an on-air interview.  Well the 15 minute call turned into about 45 minutes, apparently I have a lot to say about the subject of tomorrow’s interview: Wonder Woman.

Tune into KCUR 89.3 at 1oam 0n 6/20 to hear more about it…

 

PS… if you look carefully you may be able to see my invisible jet in them there skies 🙂

No more leaky holes in your brain, and no false starts

There’s always so much to do.

Always so much to communicate.

I’m currently in hyper drive.

I awakened to myself and suddenly everything started happening at once.

Motherhood is always a priority, but part of being a good mother and a good leader for my young women is to continue to expand my voice and my visions into the universe.

I am alive.

I was dead inside

for years.

And now, in this overbooked, over stretched  version of my world, the truth of me seeps out through the lengthened muscles, once atrophied, now flexible, stronger with each movement.

Tonight, I proudly stand up in front of my Artist Inc peers, and community to present a project that I am so proud of.  I am overwhelmed with love for the team that so organically emerged in my life.  We are so much stronger together.